It was a last-minute decision when I booked my tickets to see my partner’s sister who’s also a Urologist, as she was invited to speak in front of the medical society of urologist in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
I checked kayak.com for the most affordable flight and went to book the Manila-Kuala Lumpur flight which costed around Php 4,393 which was cheaper by a few hundred pesos versus the airline website. The flight back to Manila was steeper that time so I used all my Cebu Pacific Get Go points from all the Citibank Credit Card purchases and got my flight to Manila at only Php 931 and 8,000 Points. Free flight! Cool right?
Since the flight was a Thursday afternoon on a November, we gave a bit more travel time and headed to NAIA Terminal 1 to avoid heavy traffic. Surprisingly, traffic was tolerable and got in the airport earlier than expected. It was the queue at check-in that took a slower pace for about 20 minutes. It was a full flight, too bad we didn’t do a web check-in for this flight we got terrible seat assignments. Don’t forget to pay your travel taxes guys! (PHP 1,620, not included in the airfare booked from Kayak)
We headed to the Immigration lanes and breezed past thru it without any delay. It was after immigration that I was pleasantly surprised because the duty-free shops, stores and kiosk at Terminal 1 was neatly organized and had a more “international” appeal if you know what I mean. I always had an image of Terminal 1 to be outdated and cramped but that changed (a little) that time I saw it last. Maybe if they can fix the waiting area outside for arrivals, it can be a better airport terminal.
It was my first time to fly with Malaysian Airlines and it was okay. There was no in flight entertainment and since it was a full flight, Mike and I had to be seated apart. Good thing I had my laptop so I was able to watch movies during the flight.
Upon arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, we claimed our bag and passed thru immigration which was quick. I noticed that their airport is way bigger, brighter more tourist efficient given all the signs. Hindi po kayo maliligaw kasi madaming signages and madami din shops so if you want to tour the airport a bit, give yourself some time kasi malaki siya.
To get to the Kuala Lumpur City Centre where most of the hotels are, we took the option of taking the KLIA Ekspres. This is their mass transportation to and from the airport. All you have to do is go down to the level where the KLIA Ekspres is, buy a ticket which was RM 55 (Malaysian Ringgit) or PHP 616 at the that time. You can also do two-way which we found out more cost-effective than one-way purchase. The difference between KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit are the number of stops. If you’re not in a hurry, you can take the KLIA Transit kasi it’s mura by a few ringgits but to experience a speedy train na wala sa tin sa Pilipinas, pwede na yung KLIA Ekspres.
Once you have the ticket you just have to follow the signs on where to wait for the next train to KL Sentral, which is like yung central hub or parang Central Station nila kung saan pwede ka pumunta anywhere in Malaysia from there. When the train to KL Sentral arrives, just go in and settle your bags near you or you can place them in the luggage rack which is usually near the train door. The train has wifi, although it’s not too reliable.
Upon arrival at KL Sentral, just go out of the station and find yourself a taxi. Taxi service is very much like in the Philippines. May nangongontrata by getting you in for a fixed rate and metered taxis are hard to find especially at night. Now I can’t tell you how to spot a good taxi but if you have internet service, book a taxi using Grab or Uber. Promise dadali ang buhay mo! Especially if you charge it in your card para walang lalabas na money sayo because they also don’t change your bills unless you tell them. Also it’s best to have a screenshot of your hotel address in your phone in case you find yourself a driver that has a hard time enunciating in English.
That’s it! I hope this help in guiding you from Manila to your hotel in Kuala Lumpur. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know thru the comment section. Thank you!